Upper Back Shoulder Pain

Whether your upper back and shoulder pain is from trauma or strain that comes from bad posture over an extended period of time, the pain can either be debilitating, causing you a stay in the hospital, or it can be a chronic nuisance that just won’t go away. The causes of pain in your neck, upper back, shoulder, and even down your arms and legs, can be anything from a simple twist and sprain to something more serious like a herniated disc or torn muscles.

If the pain does not respond to your own home therapy which should include rest, ice, compression and elevation (R.I.C.E.), then by all means go see a doctor. In the cases of more severe injury, you can do real harm to yourself by delaying diagnosis and treatment. Besides that, a doctor is going to tell you how to feel better, including potentially issuing prescriptions for anti-inflammatory medication or prescription painkillers. In the meantime, the ingestion of OTC anti-inflammatory can help reduce swelling, and can help with minor pain.


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Causes of upper back and shoulder pain do not necessarily have to be from trauma or sudden injury. Often, poor physical conditioning, poor posture, or overuse of muscles through repetitive motion can contribute to chronic pain. While it is not as serious as a traumatic injury, it is still painful and can get worse if you don’t take steps to fix it. These steps should include an exercise regimen that is suggested either by your doctor or a physical therapist, tools to help you with posture while you’re sitting, standing and walking, and the building up your core muscles to provide a more solid structure. Your back is obviously the framework upon which everything else depends, and a solid core is essential to helping your shoulders, neck and upper back maintain health through good posture.

If you suddenly injure yourself, do not apply heat. It will increase blood circulation and can further aggravate your injury. While a doctor might prescribe heat therapy down the road, initially, application of ice will reduce swelling and help with mild pain symptoms. Your doctor might recommend an exercise program, or might send you to a chiropractor for spinal adjustment, which can help your muscles by realigning your spine so the muscles work with the whole system the way it was intended. Massage therapy can help, as can acupuncture or acupressure.

At home, practice common sense and take care to not engage in strenuous activities such as sports, heavy exercise or lifting and twisting. Get plenty of rest, keep the area iced, and take it easy on yourself until your body has a chance to heal itself. This includes using a good, supportive pillow while sleeping and utilizing an ergonomic office chair. Your body is an amazing machine that will take care of some injuries simply through rest and taking anti-inflammatory medications. Get advice from a doctor to rule out anything more serious, and take their advice to the letter, including any prescription medication instructions. For more information on cushions for back pain sufferers, visit www.losethebackpain.com

Filed Under: Upper Back Pain
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